Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Inadequate Response to Critically Endangered Dolphins

Media Statement

Friday 16 May 2014


New Zealand’s Inadequate Response to Critically Endangered Dolphins Back in Global Spotlight


“The world’s rarest marine dolphins are in the global spotlight once again as expert Dr Liz Slooten presents the latest science on their status to the International Whaling Commission” says dolphin advocate Christine Rose, chair of New Zealand based Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action Inc. “Maui’s Dolphins are the world’s rarest and smallest marine dolphin, found only here in coastal New Zealand waters. But we’ll be shown up for our inadequate response to their critically endangered situation when Dr Slooten’s research is presented to the IWC”. “Not only is the Government failing to save these most beautiful, and rarest of all marine dolphins, but the Department of Conservation is failing to deliver on research and monitoring objectives as well”. “At least $35,000 was allocated in operating budgets to carry out annual research into Maui’s population, distribution and breeding this year. But the DoC boat has sat on the dry. One would think given the pressures these dolphins face, and the shortage of funding for DoC work generally, that they would spend available money where it’s most needed. Both the Government and its agencies are letting down the dolphins, reneging on obligations arising from the Maui’s Dolphin Threat Management Plan, showing our inadequacies for all the world to see, and shamefully supporting extinction”.

Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins expert Dr Liz Slooten who is Associate Professor in Otago University’s Department of Zoology, is presenting papers showing that an untenable number of Maui’s dolphins continue to be killed in gill nets each year. An estimated 3-4 Maui’s dolphins continue to be killed in nets annually, a clearly unsustainable rate given the “sadly low baseline estimate of 55 individuals (based on 2010 research)” says Mrs Rose.

“Maui’s dolphins are frequently seen by surfers and swimmers off West Coast beaches and hold a special place in New Zealander’s hearts” says Mrs Rose. “We can’t believe that the Government continue to fail these wee dolphins, individually and collectively, and seem intent on consigning them to extinction”. “Where there are resources available such as is the case with the allocated budget, we think DoC have a responsibility to ensure research work is done. There are some indications that this could be a good breeding year for Maui’s dolphins, but until DoC get onto the water and quantify this, we’re none the wiser. Given the precarious position of Maui’s dolphins, the fact that the world is watching us for a response to their situation, and that budgets are available, we would have hoped for a better response from DoC”, says Mrs Rose, a campaigner for Maui’s & Hector’s dolphins for over 15 years.

“The Government are only now proposing introducing observers on the trawl fishing fleet off the North Island West Coast core habitat, at a rate of 25% coverage over the next four years, which is clearly inadequate, even while Governmental and independent scientists agree that the capture and kill rate by net entrapment is at an unsustainable level”. “The people of New Zealand, and of the world, have every right to expect that a developed country like New Zealand would take all measures to protect and enhance this species, but it seems Government agencies are just waiting till they die out”. “They’re sitting on their (bloodied) hands. Their response is woefully inadequate. They have no excuses”. “The budget is there. There’s public support and international attention. What more incentive do they need?”

ENDS


Notes:

Maui’s dolphins are a small, slow breeding endemic dolphin found only on the West Coast of the North Island. Recent studies show a population as low as around 55 adults and only 20 breeding females, from about 1000 in the 1970s. As a small inshore dolphin they are vulnerable to a range of human threats, with 80% of deaths from set or gill nets. Seismic testing, pollution and boat strike are other risks.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news